Monday, February 18, 2008

Midway Commentary

As I've been reminded recently, this is a blog that should at least REFER to Jane Austen periodically. I may have seemed a bit lax recently, but I was debating whether or not to post considering that the Masterpiece Theater Austen movie is Pride & Prejudice, and it's in three installments.

But, I got over it.

I love Pride & Prejudice, and until I had read all Austen's books, I probably couldn't have said why. But now that I have, I realize that a lot of the attraction of this particular novel is that that it REALLY IS about Lizzie and Darcy falling in love. It's not about how others came to approve and support their relationship, or how HE came around to it, or SHE came around to's about their relationship, together.

Granted, she takes a bit longer. But it's all that stinkin' Wentworth's fault!

Jennifer Ehle as Lizzie is wonderful, because she perfectly reflects Lizzie's thoughts onto her face. Lizzie is not a restrained sort of person - you pretty much know how she's feeling. And Ehle carries that through. Somewhere I read an observation that Lizzie didn't fall in love with Darcy until she realizes exactly HOW RICH he is, when veiwing Pemberly for the first time. This is a lovely aspect of many of Austen's heroines - the ability to be both romantic (marry for LOVE! and LOVE only!) and pragmatic (but that money is NICE!).

And Colin Firth...ahh. He's just about the ideal Darcy, and I would be highly critical of a new version with someone else...wait. Didn't they just do one? With Kiera Knightly as Lizzie? And them actually married, MAKING OUT at the end? Just wrong. My old-fashioned side likes movies to end with a kiss, preferably at the altar. Tangent.

Six hours is positively indulgent for this novel. I would love for every decent novel to have a movie this dedicated. We get all the lovely intrigue and side stories, along with time to actully FEEL their attractions grow. Austen's writing is too complete to rush through. Are you catching her humor? Really, I've been known to laugh out loud while reading.

Remind me to quote you a line from Emma when it's up.

I'm also feeling an urge to watch multiple versions of these lovely novels...which I'm sure will be the highlight of Aaron's week!

1 comment:

Noel said...

Following the provided link on Colin Firth to one finds

"When Helen Fielding wrote the novel Bridget Jones's Diary, she based the character of Mark Darcy on Colin Firth's depiction of Mr. Darcy in "Pride and Prejudice" (1995) (mini). In addition to the inside-joke casting of Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, there are several other allusions to Jane Austen's story: Mark disparages Bridget to his mother within earshot of Bridget. In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy disparages Elizabeth to his friend Mr. Bingley within earshot of Elizabeth. Daniel Cleaver lies to Bridget about a dispute between him and Mark, claiming Mark stole his fiancée; in fact, it was the other way around. In Pride and Prejudice, it's a dispute between Mr. Wickham and Mr. Darcy, and Wickham lies about who's at fault. The Darcy in both stories fails to disabuse the heroine's misinformed notion until it's almost too late. Bridget works at Pemberley Press; Mr. Darcy lives at Pemberley estate. Crispin Bonham-Carter was in both productions (his scenes were cut out of Bridget Jones's Diary, although he can still be seen in the job-quitting scene and can also be seen at the Kafka book launch where Bridget asks Salman Rushdie where the toilets are - he is seen as the man on the left in the conversation.)."

I don't recall having seen this series of movies (but my wife just said "not having YET seen..." ...appearently the connection was discussed at BST this morning and I may need to modify our Netflix queue").